FPC Arduino

Seeed Studios has a new version of the Arduino that they’re calling the Seeeduino Film. Instead of the traditional fiberglass substrate they’ve used a resin material to produce a Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC). In addition to its flexibility their aim with this prototype was to keep it modular. From what we can see each of the four squares is a different component in the Arduino system. The photo above has the USB interface on the nearest node, then the power regulator, the microprocessor, and finally the remaining peripheral connections. This material can easily be cut with a pair of scissors so the programming section can be removed once the firmware is burned to the chip. It will be interesting to see final pricing and package options. We wouldn’t mind having an FPC ATmega168 breakout board around, but specifially this would fit nicely in a watch band if you were building your own wristwatch.

[Thanks Juan]

Sidecar reminiscent of conjoined twins

Finally, an answer to the problem of sidecar dorkiness. [François Knorreck] spent ten years hand crafting a sidecar with a beautiful design and a luxurious interior for two. The frame is aluminum, the body is mostly carbon fiber, and there are countless details such as automatic chain tension control and steering for the sidecar wheel that make this more than just a pretty paint job.

[Thanks Geekabit]

Programmable Origami

Researchers at MIT have come up with this slick demo of, what they call,  programmable matter. This flat sheet covered in tiny foil actuators can be programmed to fold into specific shapes. Shown in the video above is a boat and an airplane.  Using the concepts set down by origami through the years, they can divide the sheet into triangles in specific arrangements to make certain shapes possible. This one is fairly simple, but judging by some of the insane origami we’ve seen around, this could get pretty cool.

[via slashdot]

Cameras perch on power lines, steal electricity

[Tim] let us know about a video outlining some covert camera devices the Air Force is developing. The video takes a lot of time to explain induction to those who’ve never heard of it but we liked to see the bird-like concept animations. They’ve already developed cameras that will clamp on to power lines in order to use induction as a power source. Shown in the video is an eight-rotor quadcopter they’re hoping to use to deliver the camera covertly. But the animations show a winged robot similar to a hawk that has a camera for a head. Having seen some of the other flying devices in development this may not actually be that far off.

Touchscreen scooter computer

[Kurt's] scooter computer started off as a way to use a couple of LEDs to show the battery charge on his hog. It was based on a Arduino and used a voltage divider to judge how much juice was left. But then he ran across a touch-screen OLED shield for the Arduino and the project started to take off. Now he’s got battery, temperature, real-time clock, and GPS running through the slick-looking display. It may not be a full-blown motorcycle but it gives the computer interfaces we’ve seen for other bikes a run for their money.

[Thanks Mowcius]

Houses to go from leftover scraps

[Derek Diedricksen] builds nomadic houses from left over building materials. Some are large enough to haul behind a vehicle or, in the case of the one above, small enough to tote around like a wheelbarrow. We love them because not only do they reuse material that might commonly hit the landfill, but they look good. Check out the first couple of episodes from the Yellow House series after the break. Then take some inspiration from [Derek's] success and see if you don’t already have enough in your junk pile to get started.

[Read more...]

Tank drone with automatic targeting and tracking

Humankind is making some great advances toward our own destruction with this tank drone. It’s got a powerful set of treads with an Airsoft rifle perched atop. Thanks to the cameras and the laser this thing can accurately target based on color. The hardware is controlled by a collection of Arduino boards connected via XBee so that Processing can be used on a computer. Just combine this with the facial recognition from yesterday and you’ve got the first generation of Terminators. Watch the clip after the break and you’ll realize that we’re doomed. [Read more...]

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